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Features

  • Mickey Johnson’s team at the Mobile Electronics Competition Association’s world competition, held in Nashville, Tenn., was appropriately named “Ground Shakaz.”

  •     Though tough economic times have hit other projects hard, the Downtown Moneta and Mayberry Hills development is adjusting and thriving.

        New leases are being signed, new residential units are being built and people are being drawn to the area.

        According to developer George Aznavorian, people are looking for ways to have affordable evenings out. Hence Downtown Celebrations, an effort to provide free entertainment while attracting people to the stores there.

  • The minimum age to be a CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocate) is 21. Chelsea Clemons, who is 22, is the youngest CASA working out of the Bedford office.

        CASAs are appointed by the Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court when a case comes before the court that involves children. The CASA’s job is to look out for the children’s interests and prepare a report for the judge. All CASAs are volunteers.

  • From the time Collage, Liberty High School’s literary magazine, fired back up four years ago it has garnered national attention.

        And it continues to do so.

  • Bedford County has the fourth largest horse population in Virginia, according to Richard Toms. That was part of the inspiration to start a new organization that actually began in January with seven people and now has grown to 65.

  • The Bedford County’s Sheriff’s Office has a long and storied history.  The county’s first sheriff, Joseph Ray, took office when Bedford County was first formed in 1754.

        Now it is in the process of compiling as much of that as possible.

  • For more than 100 years a hardware store has been located at 126 South Bridge Street in Centertown Bedford. For the past nine years Bill Mosley, and his wife Elizabeth Berry-Mosley, have been the owners there.

        That’s about to change, but they’re confident the store will remain viable and the history of that building’s use will continue.

  •     Georgia Pacific’s Big Island plant has installed a piece of equipment that both helps the environment and the plant’s bottom line.

        It’s called a recovery boiler and it allows the plant to recycle chemicals needed to turn wood chips into fiber. It also lets them use waste material as fuel.

  • When Hope Cupit’s daughter, Bendera, had her 13th birthday, she had something in mind other than presents.

        The Forest teen turned her birthday party into a fundraising event for a little girl named Hannah Johnson. Johnson, a student at Thomas Jefferson Elementary School, is fighting leukemia. The type of leukemia she has responds well to treatment, but it’s expensive. Her  family  has insurance, but their out-of-pocket expenses are cheap.

  • girls. The girls’ door was on the east side and the boys’ was on the west.

        Everybody walked to school in Bedford. Pizzati said that winters were much colder and snowier than they are now.

        “In the wintertime, I would get to school and my feet were frozen,” she recalled.

        The other children also got to school with cold feet. Pizzati said they would all go to a big heat register in the hall to get their feet warm.

  • Virginia Robertson has always worked hard and though she turned 102 years old this past Sunday she’s not yet ready to slow down.

        “I do everything I want to do,” Virginia said this week about remaining active. “I worked hard all my life — from the time I was knee-high to a duck.”

  •     Going from North Bridge to South Bridge Street isn’t a big move, geographically, but it made a big difference for the owners of Bella Books.

        Gary Guida and Kim Cashman had been operating a used book and antique shop for a year in a location that they shared with another business. Moving to a spot next to the Bedford Social Club, across the street from Still Waters Cafe, has tripled their space.

        “It looks more like a proper book store,” Guida said.

  • Johnathan Dillon, lead singer for the bluegrass band Johnathan Dillon and Phantom Grass, paid a visit to the Good Neighbors day camp being held at Trinity Ecumenical Parish recently.

        Good Neighbors is an ecumenical program that brings seven Lake area churches and Lake Christian Ministries together to help elementary school children of the portions of Bedford and Franklin counties that border the lake. One of its efforts are two four-week day camps for children from first grade through fourth. Each accommodates 50 children.

  •     Not long after the Gingerbread Cafe closed, a new lunch spot opened on North Bridge Street at that location.

        According to Teri Okuley, that was deliberate. Okuley owns Ivy Bridge Cafe. She wanted to get the doors open before Gingerbread Cafe’s customer base drifted away. Renovation work started in March, a month after Gingerbread closed and the new restaurant opened its doors for the first time on June 2

  • One of the area organizations that gives scholarships to students pursuing post-high school education is Mended Hearts.

        Mended Hearts consists of individuals, and members of their families, who have undergone some sort of heart procedure. They have a vested interest in the continued availability of quality medical professionals and their scholarships go to nursing students. This year, Mended Hearts gave $250 scholarships to Crystal  Jadallah and Tiffany Phillips. Both are students in the local licensed practical nurse (LPN) program.

  • Court Street Pizza originally started after some members of Ed Maguire’s family moved to this area from Maine.

        “It’s a good place to raise a family,” he commented.

        They, in turn, called him to come down. He said they missed his pizza. The also missed him, although Maguire didn’t say which they missed the most.

        Maguire said he’s worked in the pizza business since he was 14. He just turned 35.

  • When Linda and Charlie Exley first arrived in the Bedford area 19 years ago, Elisha “John” Cheek and his wife, Patricia, befriended the Yankee refugees.

        The Exleys met the local couple because Patricia Cheek collected dolls and Linda Exley had a doll shop at the time.

        “They invited us for Christmas,” she said. “They became our Virginia parents.” For the Exleys and many others, John Cheek’s death earlier this year was a heartfelt loss.

  • ith Bedford Main Street currently without a director, a local orchardist has stepped in to reorganize the Bedford Farmers Market.

        Along with being a son of a multi-generation Bedford County farm family, Ronnie Gross is also one of the farmer representatives on the county’s agribusiness board. Along with being part of the family orchard business, he has Mountain Valley Produce LLC, a wholesale company that distributes to restaurants and stores.

        “It gives restaurants a chance to buy local,” he said.

  • A lot of churches build additions or new sanctuaries, but the new sanctuary that Grace Memorial Baptist Church dedicated this month is something different.

        Grace Memorial is a country church, located on Robertson Road, off Dickerson Mill Road, but what was built doesn’t look like what comes to mind when you think of a country church. The 500 seat sanctuary, and the building that houses it, looks more like what you would expect a suburban congregation to build.